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Recap & Analysis

  • Due dilligence, Mickey Mouse, and the failing of USF1

    Mark Webber isn't a man to mince his words, and there's certainly no mincing to be found in yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald where he calls the situation with the new F1 teams embarrassing.

    It's embarrassing... It's incredible that people who haven't yet turned a wheel take part in grands prix...

    It's the sort of stuff from Mickey Mouse or Tom and Jerry...

    It would make more sense to field (MotoGP champion) Valentino Rossi with his bike on the grid...

    Mark Webber, Sydney Morning Herald 3rd March 2010

    Warning rant ahead...

    And he's right, spot on, bang on the money.


    The debacle that is was USF1 is a complete shambles. Embarrassing for the other teams, devastating to their innocent employees, and another nail in the coffin for F1 in the United States.

    Ken Anderson, and Peter Windsor have a lot to answer for. In the beginning it was all provado, smiles for the cameras, and oodles of rhetoric. Do you remember,

    Ken Anderson and I have been looking at the possibility of designing and building an F1 car in the USA for the past four years.

    Windsor on USF1 - - 11th February 2009

    [Is the budget cap important?] Not really, because we have been planning this for years and we were coming in anyway. We know what it costs to do it, and there are reasons for doing it from the United States because it is more cost effective.

    Q&A with Ken Anderson - - 18th May 2009

    ...if all falls perfectly into place, we would like the car to be running in November/December.

    First USF1 car could be running in 2009 - - 14th May 2009

    For a couple of halfwits guys to be planning their skunk-works Formula 1 entry for the last 5 years, and those plans to unravel in under 12 months despite recent developments like the resource restriction agreement, and a concerted efforts to cut costs in the sport, it is almost laughable.

    The thing isn't that these two chaps have made fools of themselves, it's the collateral damage that they have done to F1.

    Formula 1 in the United States has been in a precarious position for years, admittedly not helped by the Indianapolis/Michelin 2005 fiasco, but promising to bring the US to F1 and spectacularly failing will have undoubtedly alienated significant numbers of existing and sympathetic American F1 fans.

    The chasm to cross to get Formula 1 into the largest national economy in the world, just got bigger.

    Campos HRT

    Then there's Campos, or Hispania, or HRT, or whatever they're called today.

    Not actually building their car themselves all that was needed was, sort out some sponsorship dollars, and hire some mechanics. What could go wrong?

    More like, what could go right?

    With the fat lady all warmed up and entering stage right, it looks like they've been saved. Although without any testing before the first race it is difficult to classify them a bona-fida F1 entry. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens in the next 7 days.

    The token it's the FIA's fault conclusion

    Due diligence. Just two words or a process of sorting the wheat from the chaff?

    The FIA said that they partook a process of due diligence to select the successful new teams for 2010. Three (Campos, USF1 and Virgin) were chosen on the 12th June last year. Lotus learnt their fate three months later - 15th September 2009.

    Which teams are ready for the first race in Bahrain? Virgin and Lotus.

    So only one of the FIA-selected-strongest-likely-teams (Lotus presumably being best second round choice) can manage to come up with the goods. It does beg serious questions of the FIA "due diligence" process. And it is hard to think that established racing entities such as Lola and Prodrive would not have at least produced something with four wheels.

    In short, USF1 have failed us, Campos have all but failed us, but the biggest failure has to be that of the FIA. For god's sake, sort it out Jean. Please.

Tagged with...
  • FIA
  • USF1
  • HRT
  • Ken Anderson
  • Peter Windsor
  • Max Mosley
  • Mark Webber
  • 2010 Season
  • (won't be published)
  • What color is Ferrari?
  • James's avatar
    4:05pm Thu, 4th March 2010

    It's a win-win-win for all those involved in USF1. Ken Anderson and the NASCAR team involved get experience with European engineers, the engineers get a F1 gig on their CV, and Chad Hurley gets a paddock pass for at least a few years, he's a potential F1 investor now. Peter Windsor also gets a tick on his CV.

    I'm sure the key players had chats dating back at least 5 years, but I don't believe they were ever truly serious. Did you see the empty factories on their YouTube vids?

    I don't think this will hurt F1 in the US long term, it's another chapter in the US--F1 story, I just wish they were more serious.

  • Richard's avatar
    9:50pm Fri, 5th March 2010

    Hi James, I can see what you mean, but I still cant get past how this sorry saga would be anything but awful for F1 in the US.

    It wouldnt have been so bad if they'd called the operation Winderson F1 or something, but identifying so strongly with the nation has left the credibility of any future US F1 hopefuls with an even greater mountain to climb, be it teams, drivers or grands prix.